It was the day after Christmas, 2002. My parents and I decided to fly to California to spend Christmas with my brother and his family, and meet my eldest niece who was 8 months old at the time. Keeping with tradition, my brother decided to take us further north to his mountain chalet in Trinity Lake. He borrowed his father-in-law’s van, needing a bigger 4 wheel drive vehicle than his truck, and also, something a little easier on gas mileage. So we packed up the van and my parents, brother, and I headed towards the mountains!
On the way, the van broke down. My brother was able to find help to get a tow to the nearest mechanic shop and we were told it wouldn’t be ready until the next morning, so we found a motel near by and settled in for the night. We decided to walk to the nearest diner, and my brother, being the big goof that he is, walked up to a Nativity and asked the ox and the lamb if they had the time. I of course, being easily amused, started laughing hysterically, while my parents let out a chuckle.
I don’t remember much of the conversation or the food from the diner, but I imagine it was good, most diner food is, and my parents and brother are great conversationalists!
Back at the motel, my brother decided it would be a good idea for us to watch “The Shining.” Yes, Jason, let’s watch a horror film about a guy who loses his mind while staying in a hotel, in the mountains, in the dead of winter, during a storm, while we are staying in a motel, in the mountains, in the dead of winter, while it’s snowing! Great Idea!!
Well, we watched “The Shining,” had a few giggles, and went to bed. We just got a room with two beds, since it was only 1 overnight. My dad and brother shared a bed, while my mom and I shared the other. My mom, as always, was the first to fall asleep.
The room was quiet, except for this hissing sound, but we all laid still trying to let sleep overtake us, until my 27-year-old brother started to stir.
“Dad, dad what’s that noise?” He asks.
“What noise?” My dad replies in question.
The hissing sound starts again.
“That noise!” My brother exclaims, sounding quite startled.
My dad, who was half asleep, and sounding a little irritated at the fact that he was not yet asleep, replies “Oh, that’s just your mother breathing!”
My brothers questions awoke my mom, and laughter erupted the room. My mom and I laughed so hard, and I think I almost fell out of bed. My mom couldn’t contain her giggles, she kept laughing minutes after the event happened.
My brother, in defense responded “Well, we did just watch The Shining, and I never heard those noises from you before.”
“And whose idea was it to watch The Shining?” I asked.
More laughter from my mother…throughout the night!
We did finally make it to the chalet, which is surrounded by massive redwoods and evergreen pines, if you ever get the chance to go, I highly recommend it. It’s very serene, very rural, but the views are breathtaking. I will share pictures at a later time.
When we finally arrived at the chalet, the snow was so deep the van wouldn’t make it up the driveway, we had to park at the bottom and walk up, until my brother could get the driveway cleared enough to get the van up it. I didn’t have snow boots with me, I didn’t think I’d need them in California, but I also didn’t realize that we’d be heading that far north. So I pulled my hair up on top of my head, put on my brothers cap, one of his flannels, and fortunately, his feet are big enough that I could slip my feet into his boots with my shoes on. My brother was quite surprised at how much we look a like, he said if someone had spotted me from a distance, they would have thought I was him! My friend, Ashley, has always said my brother and I look a lot of like! I take it as a compliment! The older my brother gets though, the more he looks like dad, and I’ve been told I resemble my mom, but I was fortunate enough to get her baby blues!!
I nestled up by the fire place after the walk up the hill to the chalet. I remember sitting on the couch, sipping coffee, and watching it pour down the snow. It was so beautiful! I really can’t wait to go back some day!
I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed sharing it with all of you. It’s one of my all time favorite memories!
What’s one of your favorite memories? I’d love to hear about it.
Love & life lessons,